Not all spyware and adware is bad. It is not the same as a virus or a worm. Some of it is there by your permission. In other cases, it may be bundled into a piece of software that you choose to download. It is when it crosses the line and starts reporting things to others that you did not give permission to that it becomes bad. At other times, it can really slow down your computer and even lead to viruses and more serious problems.
What Is Spyware?
Spyware is a little program that a company or Web site places on your computer in order to provide information. Several uses of spyware include:
- Collecting personal information
- Stealing your browser's home page
- Accessing certain Web sites without permission
- Record browsing habits
- Keeping records of your keystrokes
- And more.
Spyware is not always bad. In some cases, you may permit it to exist when you download certain software online. You may permit a company to display its ads in order to receive what that company is offering - such as music. It can be bad, though, if it is there without your consent and if it is doing things without your knowledge.
What Is Adware?
Adware is a piece of software (a program) that controls what type of advertising you see. In some cases, it collects information about your browsing habits, and then displays ads that are related to the things you have been searching for. Adware is often placed on your computer without your consent. In some ways, adware is merely a form of spyware.
What Can You Do With Spyware and Adware?
You can download spyware and adware removal software that will eliminate many of them that are lurking on your computer. Some software will find more than others will, and you will also want one that can scan and detect adware or spyware in emails. If you are running the latest Windows Vista program, you want to be sure that the spyware / adware software program you get is compatible.
Preventing new spyware and adware from infecting your computer is nearly impossible, but with regular uses of an anti-spyware software program, you can certainly keep it to a minimum. Some spyware removal software acts in real time and prevents new spyware or adware from becoming active as soon as it gets on your computer.